Covering more than 753,000 square feet, a floating dock is set to transform Italy’s Lake Iseo, covering it in a shimmering dahlia-yellow fabric consisting of 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes. The man behind the scheme is Bulgarian artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff. Eleven years after he worked alongside his late wife Jeanne-Claude in Central Park, Christo is once again ready to dazzle audiences. His solo project, known as The Floating Piers, is located 50 miles Northeast of Milan and will support visitors from June 18 - June 3 this year. Resting on Lake Iseo's surface, the 200,000 polyethylene cubes will undulate in the waves as they connect the towns of Sulzano and Monte Isola with the island of San Paolo. Encircling the island, the piers will have a width of 52 feet and stretch just under two miles across the lake. The piers will also be overlaid with 807,300 square feet of yellow fabric. Sewn into the cubes, the fabric echoes the pigments of the roof tiles seen on the buildings surrounding Lake Iseo. Here, it will continue its journey from the lake, setting a mile-long course through the pedestrian streets of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. Since his Central Park park installation in 2005, which saw 7,500 gates of saffron-colored panels line the park's walkways, The Floating Piers will be the first project completed since his wife's passing in 2009. Back then he described his work as “a golden river appearing and disappearing through the branches of the trees.” This year, another river, though this time orange, will run through Christo's location of choice. As was the case in New York, and indeed all his projects, The Floating Piers will be gather funding solely through selling his own original works of art. “They will feel the movement of the water under foot,” Christo said in the New York Times. “It will be very sexy, a bit like walking on a water bed.” Once the 16-day exhibition is over, all components used in the installation will be removed and industrially recycled.
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The artist with a penchant for wrapping cliff faces, skyscrapers, and even islands in swathes of bright-colored cloth is inviting Italians to walk on water with an over-two-mile-long walkway in the Mediterranean Sea that will be enveloped in shimmering yellow fabric. Stretching across Lake Iseo in the Lombardy region, Italy, the makeshift, handrail-less bridge by Bulgarian-born wrap artist Christo will temporarily join the mainland to the lake islands. The fabric will then continue along pedestrian streets in two mainland towns, Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. A modular dock system of approximately 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes will undulate with the flux of the waves, making the walk across “a very sexy experience,” according to Christo. Titled The Floating Piers, the buoyant installation is designed to be visible from the mountains above, where the more or less bird's-eye view elicits a whole new dimension of experience. Sketches show the walkway as looking tight-rope precarious—a sliver of a bridge lacking a guardrail, bobbing up and down on choppy waters. In actuality, the piers will be 52 feet wide and about 1.6 feet high, so chances of mishap are diminutive. The Floating Pier will be Christo’s first large-scale installation since his 2005 The Gates in New York’s Central Park, which he made in collaboration with his late wife, Jeanne-Claude. In the spring and summer of 2014, Christo and team scouted lakes in northern Italy as potential sites, but he and project director Germano Celant found Lake Iseo to be the most inspiring. Christo also previously eyed Argentina and Japan as potential locations, but local authorities refused him a permit. Christo is best known for wrapping a cliff face in Little Bay, Sydney, Australia in 1969 with one million square feet of erosion-control fabric. Like all projects preceding it, The Floating Pier will be funded entirely by the sale of Christo’s original works of art. The artist, who has already raised $11 million, shrugged off the importance of exacting cost projection with: “It’s like a child, you can’t set out a budget to see him grow.” [via NYTimes.]